Sidmouth Croquet players see off Irish visitors – but will Brexit enable a re-match in 12 months’ time

Sidmouth and Carrickmines match teams. Picture CONTRIBUTED

Sidmouth and Carrickmines match teams. Picture CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Croquet’s efforts to broaden their playing base continues, writes Richard Thurlow.

Early last month, we played an Austrian team in Vienna and then, last week, six Irish players from the Carrickmines club in Dublin visited us. This was a return match from last year when we visited them.

In an effort to impress our visitors (whose own club is very beautified), lawns were swished till they shone, white lines were burnished and we wiped the seagulls’ mess from the seats, so that at 9 o’clock, when the Irish arrived, we were exhausted.

We played three doubles games in the morning of the first day, winning all of them.

In the afternoon we managed to win five of the six singles games, thus after the first day’s play we were eight games to one up.

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In the evening, several of the players from both sides played what turned out to be our first International Darts match, which we won after about two hours of indecisive throwing. Perhaps the beer had an effect.

The second day was kinder to Carrickmines as, of the twelve singles games played, both sides won six.

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So, the final result was fourteen games to Sidmouth and seven to Carrickmines. The presentation of the trophy to the winning side would have been more successful and relevant if the Irish, who won the match last year, had remembered to bring the trophy.

The visitors apparently enjoyed themselves, although we all had to admit the delights of Sidmouth after 7pm in the evening did not remotely approach those of Dublin.

A return match is scheduled for next year, Brexit permitting.

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